This blog is in memory of our beloved Border Collie Tippy who died on July 28th 2010. Every Sunday over the course of the next few months I will post memories and pictures of her life with us, both as a working farm dog, family pet, best friend and work mate.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Tippy the Sea Dog.

I always think it’s great the way that dogs can just jump right in to water and start swimming without ever having seen anything deeper than a muddy puddle and without a single swimming lesson and all without the slightest hesitation. As you will see from this week’s pictures. Tippy was no exception to this rule, especially if there was a ball involved. I can remember there was one time at Durness in northwest Scotland when we were playing ball on the beach and at one point it ended up in the sea. As always Tippy was immediately on the case which was great as it meant we didn’t have to get wet retrieving the ball. The problem was that on this occasion instead of for the ball staying put it was going out to sea with Tippy in hot pursuit. I started to have a panic attack when both the ball and Tippy disappeared around the outcrop rocks. Thankfully she was soon to reappear from around the other side with ball in mouth which she dropped at our feet, she was completely unfazed and ready for another shot at retrieving.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Tippy's Top Tips.

Those of you who read my blog will often see Tommy getting involved with the gardening work. Tippy was never an enthusiastic gardener but there were a few occasions when I could get her to pay attention for a few moments. This week’s picture is one such moment. I’ve included the post that the picture was taken for so you can see what it was all about.

Tonight Tippy is going to show you a little something we put together the other day. Me and Tom went to the garden centre as Tom wanted some bonemeal so while we were there I decided to buy some pots to do something I've been thinking about for a while now. I was just going to get three ordinary clay pots, it doesn't really matter what the pots are like as long as each one is smaller than the other, the reason for this will become evident in the next picture. As it turned out there were three pots that both fit the bill and that took my fancy.

If you start off with the biggest pot and fill it with potting compost and then take the next size pot and just put it on top of the one you just filled and lightly press down, this will both firm the compost in the lower pot and also mark where the pot will eventually sit. There should be a part all the way around the lower pot that the second pot didn't touch and this is now where you need to put some plants, I used Busy Lizzies but you could use begonia's or sat Petunia's, trailing Lobelia would be good too. When this is done then you do the same thing again with the second pot first of all filling it with compost as with the first. If you planted the first pot right you should be able to just sit in down on top of the first pot without damaging the plants. See the picture below.

For the third pot you can finish off with the same sort of plants if you choose, I decided to put a Fuchsia in the top pot as I felt it would just give it that bit more height. Below is the finished article although I'm thinking I might see if Vicki can get some some trailing Lobelia from the shop as I think it would be better with something flowing down a bit although in time the Busy Lizzies will grow up and fill out.
This next picture was taken later on in the summer and shows you how it all worked out.
All the best,

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Learning to live together.

In last weeks post I spoke of how Tippy got on with Tommy so this week I think it's only fair to include our other dog which is a West Highland Terrier called Scampi. She doesn't often get included in my posts about the dogs because she isn't my dog, she belongs to our daughter Fallon.

This first picture is a rare one in that Tippy was actually looking at the camera, unlike Tommy she was quite camera shy and would usually look anywhere but the camera.

As you will see from the pictures they all got on very well. I think Tippy did very well accepting them the way she did because for ten years she had us all to herself and then within a matter of a month she acquired two friends.
When I look at this picture I sort of get the feeling some kind of bribery is going on. whenever there was an offer of food Tippy always hung back as in the picture. because of this I once got my foot bitten by Tommy. They all had a treat and I threw one for Tippy and she just stood looking at it and then the next minute I saw tommy make a dive for it so I stuck my foot out to block him and he grabbed hold of it. He got shut outside on his own until bedtime and then spent the night by himself in the kitchen for his troubles. I should have known better because at the time he had an issue with feet for some reason, he got very nasty whenever anyone put their feet anywhere near him. Anyway he is cured of that now and even lets you massage his back with your feet while he is laid down also as you have seen in a video he no longer takes foot without permission. I know this is nothing to do with tippy but I tell the story so you can see what sort of thing she had to put up with from the other dogs. We got Scampi as a puppy so there were puppy things for her to get used to as well as bad dog things.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Like a married couple.

This picture was taken on Tue 13 Mar 2007 07:31 during our morning walk.

I think on the whole Tippy had a good relationship with Tommy which is surprising as Tommy was no gentleman on the first meeting which occurred while driving down the road on the quad bike on the way to check out the stock on the morning of the 6th June 2005. As we passed the forest entrance we noticed this big black collie lying under the rail across the entrance. At first I though it was just a dog walking with someone as we got lots of dog walkers in that area being surrounded by forest as it was. Even so I though it was worth checking out so I did an emergency stop and reversed up and could see no one with the dog who remained lying down. So I switched off he engine and got off the bike. I always tried to catch stray dogs as they can be a problem with the stock if they become hungry. Of course I always approached with caution but on this occasion it wasn't me that needed to worry but Tippy because in a flash the dog jumped up and flew at Tippy who had remained on the bike. Tommy is still prone to this behaviour although it's now a rare occurrence rather than the rule as it was back then. It looks scarier than it actually is as he never makes contact, just a big scary fuss and then backs off and on this occasion went to lay back down under the rail. That was the only time there was any kind of unpleasantness between them and came to live together in a similar manner to that of a married couple. 
When I look at this picture I get the impression that Tippy is not amused by Tommy's antics with the stick, It's like, 'put that down you darn fool before you go and hit someone with it'.